A text appeared on my phone earlier this week stating that The Most Reverend A. Edward Pevec, DD, PhD, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Cleveland had passed away. You may read more about his official time as a bishop as well as all of the funeral arrangements HERE.
Bishop Pevec was of Slovenian descent as was I. When I was in the seminary I used to sneak into the chapel late at night and play Slovenian hymns on the organ. On a number of occasions I would be leaving and find that the bishop had been sitting there listening. He would have tears in his eyes and he would shake my hand and say, “Thank you John.” I have rarely, in my life, ever gone by the name John but I didn’t mind him calling me that.
When I was named pastor of St. Sebastian, our ordinary was unable to have the installation ceremony due to his heavy schedule. The Installation Mass is ceremonial and unnecessary, but then again so is a birthday cake and presents. But such is life.
As I was leaving his office I was handed the list of auxiliary bishops of the diocese with their phone numbers. “I heard that the bishop was going to be unable to install you as pastor so I took the liberty of putting these names together for you,” the person said. At the top of list was Bishop Pevec. So I called, somewhat embarrassed, “Hi, This is John. Could you come and install me as pastor?” It sounded pretty pathetic like “Would you throw me a birthday party?” Anyway he jumped right on it. “Of course I will. When do you want it?” He sounded rather enthused about though his schedule was probably packed too but he put me greatly at ease.
We had settled on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception which thrilled me. It was a great crowd, which meant that more people than usual showed up on a holy day of obligation! It was a wonderful night thanks to his generous spirit.
Rest in peace bishop.